Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) campus recreation is committed to building a stronger student body by providing diverse and intentional recreational activities for the campus community. Its vision is to promote health awareness, a sense of community and a lifelong appreciation for fitness and wellness.
The SVSU athletic and recreation complex offers nearly 300,000 square feet of space and activities for students and the campus community. All under one roof, athletes, students and community members access the Ryder Center Fieldhouse, Gerstacker Regional Aquatic Center, Hamilton Gymnasium, O’Neill Arena and the Campus Recreation Center. The facility’s features include:
Ryder Center Fieldhouse — 300-meter indoor track, 80-yard turf field and indoor golf simulator.
Gerstacker Regional Aquatic Center — Olympic-size pool which hosts high school and collegiate swimming and diving competitions and is available for leisurely swimming.
Hamilton — Two wooden floor multipurpose courts for basketball and volleyball
O’Neill Arena — Home of the varsity basketball team. It offers an additional two multipurpose courts available for basketball, volleyball, and varsity strength and conditioning.
Campus Recreation Center — Three multipurpose courts lined for basketball, volleyball and tennis. Elevated indoor track, lounge and two-story fitness center.
Other — Three fitness studios, racquetball courts, multiple locker rooms, café, athletic training areas, athletic weight room and offices.
Through focused assessment and understanding, SVSU concentrates programming initiatives to meet the needs of its students. Traditional group exercise classes and intramural sports round out an array of opportunities for healthy engagement.
Club sports are a key element of campus culture and bridge the gap between intercollegiate athletics and intramural sports. Over 300 students compete across 20 teams ranging from the familiar soccer, rugby, lacrosse and hockey to disc golf and sailing. Boasting several national championships, these teams actively recruit and often are a contributing factor for students’ enrollment.
Club Hockey hosts matches at the nearby Saginaw Bay Ice Arena. Opponents and their fans have nicknamed the home crowd and arena as “Death Valley”. Students and community members fill the stands with comparable attendance to some of the athletic teams. Attending hockey games has become a staple for students.
Students can experience the outdoors through guided adventures from backcountry camping to white water rafting. Before departing, students engage with staff during a virtual pre-trip meeting to voice any concerns before their adventure.
These meetings help break down anxiety for students who are taking a leap out of their comfort zone. The trips have become a favorite among the international student population looking to explore as much of the United States they can.
Partnering with University Dining Services (Aramark), students are instructed by school chefs on food safety, knife skills and full meal preparation. Through this program, students earn their ServSafe certification and host university administration for a special evening that culminates their experience.
- SVSU’s intramural player of the year receives the “Gilby Award” named after Dr. Eric Gilbertson, the university President from 1989-2013. The President started at quarterback for a faculty and staff intramural flag football team dubbed The Valley Vultures.
- The majority of SVSU campus buildings have been built or remodeled in the last 15 years.
- The athletic and recreation complex has tripled in size since 2011 due to the demand and need from the student population in addition to exceeding the student fitness and recreation expectations.
- The facilities are an asset to the Great Lakes Bay Region by hosting a variety of events such as high school athletic competitions, NCAA postseason events and various expos.
- Throughout the pandemic, SVSU served as a regional hub to help deliver COVID-19 vaccines within the Campus Recreation Center.
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